All About Sewing Machine Needle Sizes

The sewing needles are one of the most integral parts of sewing machines since they are responsible for stitching through the material used. Contrary to popular belief, there are many types and sizes of sewing needles used by sewing machines. One must know the correct sewing needle sizes used for different kinds of fabrics.

If the wrong needle size is used, then there are two probable outcomes. Either the needle itself breaks due to the fabric’s strength being too much, which would necessitate the needle’s replacement, or the fabric is damaged due to the needle’s size tearing apart the material.

Please note that the information about sewing needle sizes and their usage applies only to universal needles. Other, more specialized hands have different sizes and uses than universal needles, and it would be too much for this article to handle.

Learn more about your machine’s needle now.

All Sewing Needle Sizes You Need

Before we start:

There are two numbers to needle sizes, as seen in 80/12 and 90/14. These numbers correspond to European and American sewing needle sizes, respectively. This numbering means that an 80/12 needle is size 80 in Europe and size 12 in America. Keep these two in mind because they have vast differences.


Size 70/10 is the smallest needle size universal needles could have. They are used on very delicate materials since their small size would ensure minimal chance of the material being ripped. Examples of such materials include voile, sheer fabrics, and soft silk.


Size 80/12 is the second smallest needle size and is the recommended needle size for general dressmaking. This sewing needle size is used on medium-weight materials, such as poplin, rayon, and light wool.


Size 90/14 is the medium needle size for universal needles. They are used on slightly heavier medium-weight materials, such as calico, linen, oxford, and charmeuse. These materials are excellent when made into different things such as bed linens and pillowcases. Besides the two, clothes are also another product that can come from them.


Size 100/16 is one of the larger needle sizes for universal needles. They are used on heavy fabrics, upholstery, and bag-making since the size is the minimum needed to not break against the fabric. Examples of such materials include denim and brocade.


Size 110/18 is one of the most massive sewing needles sizes universal needles could have. They are reserved for heavy fabrics and upholstery since smaller needle sizes would break against such material. Examples of such materials include vinyl and canvas.


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It is a nuisance when your needle breaks in the middle of a project. Then, you can’t find anything to replace it because you do not have an idea about the little thing. Avoid this incident by supplying yourself with the best knowledge about your sewing tool. It is never too late to do it when it is about needle sizes.

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